Here we are.We have lived through two very exciting and adventurous years of marriage and are entering our third. If you haven't checked out our post about what we learned together in our first two years, read that here.
You guys. I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed our celebration of marriage. We had one full amazing day of rest and joy and adventure.
Our spot has become this precious town of Sisters, OR. It is officially our spot because we have stayed here in this city 4 times in 2 years. Thank you Groupon, we forever love you.
I cannot tell you the smiles I have to be sandwiched between two camps. Last week we were hired by TMC to be their speaker for middle school camp. That was an honor and a half and I'm basically downright thankful. Thank you TMC! There we met many humans: young adults, old adults, and tons of wild middle schoolers. We were able to root on these students in Clue, The Forbidden Garden (what?), and other random things they enjoyed like..paintball. It was great. I heard so many stories from so many kids and let me tell you: WE LIVE IN A BROKEN AND MESSY WORLD. A world of hurt and abuse and neglect and way too much stabbing pain. But our God is bigger and no matter what the damage inflicted upon you, He has overcome. He is ready, arms open wide, for you. Yes. You. It's wonderful. So, camp - it was great and I was honored to be Team Brenner partnering with Team TMC.
Currently, we are at Camp Winema. Partnering with a number of other youth ministries and it is AWESOME. Basically, we love camp and we love loving middle school kids. They are often struggling with the darkest of days and don't even realize that ITS OKAY TO CRY. So many conversations telling kids it's okay to Feel Life. I mean wow, what are we doing that kids don't realize its okay to grieve her mothers death? Whole different post...I need to process life.
I was blessed to celebrate our marriage and anniversary between the two camps. It felt kind of right. Like, yes, this is our life.
All of the staff at the lodge we stayed at kept asking if we were on our honeymoon, because we "just seem so in love." Well my dear friends, we are "just so in love." We are IN THE LOVE and we are CHOOSING to be in the love. Plus we are newlyweds still. It's not everyday we access this beautifulness, but when our hearts are soft and selfless, submissive to what Jesus wants, well...life is great. Marriage is LOVE. Brenners are FRESHLY SQUEEZED OFF THE LOVE TREE because caps are big and important and leave an exclamation point.
Just keeping it real, kids. We are fresh in love and hoping to remain on our honeymoon for many years. Can we bypass the rough year 7? I know, I know, throw in some newborns and then we will see how "fresh in love" we are.
Anyways. We were so blessed. The lodge we stayed at has free cruiser bike rentals, mountain bikes, trails everywhere, access to the athletic club, free wine & beer reception every night, cheap $5 movies in the barn theater, and basically it's the most beautiful place ever and we just did not have time to soak in all the amenities, but that's okay. Last year we rode horses, this year we rode bikes. You could call us two young kids in love, which is what we are, kicking it poolside reading. We dressed up fancy because why not? We worked out for free because we could. I was even sore - don't tell me how out of shape I am, I already know this. We read and we slept and we disconnected and life was so good. It was a quick stay but jam packed full of laughing and smiles and rest and celebration and dreaming. I must love the word "and" and hate commas.
Do you know what's so great about these little mini vaca's? For the most part, you can pull yourself up and out of reality to dream. At lunch, we talked about future-y things and different ways we hope to impact the world we live in. We dreamed big things that may never happen but we wont count impossible. I encourage you to do that, soul. It's good.
Something else we enjoy doing is writing letters to our future teenagers. We did it on our honeymoon while camping out in the Red Woods. We write to them saying that we do in fact want their life, that we in fact do not hate or want bad for them, but that we desperately want them to fall in love with Jesus. We are in this stage of shadowing other parents who seem to have "done something right," because their kids adore them and tell them everything. So I ask lots of questions because, well they are humans with experiences and they are standing right before my eyes and why would I not ask questions? You want to know what they have said their secret is? "Love your kids like Jesus. Point your kids to Jesus. Be transparent and real."
Bookstores are just our favorite and we got to ride some cruiser bikes around town. I was so in love with life I couldn't stop smiling:
We write 6 month goals (one of ours was to complete another race, half marathon or bigger); 12 month goals (one was to go backpacking 1x); and 5 year goals (one was to have our second car by 2019).
I cherish our marriage, I adore our friendship, and I hope you'll stay around awhile to learn, grow, and be inspire with us. We love life!